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80mm Refractor from a green blue zone

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#1 bremms

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:54 PM

My home is in a Red zone and I still do a bit of deep sky observing. Been a lot of years since I took a scope to a much darker site. The past couple of days we've been on Kiawah Island for a short getaway. It's surprisingly dark here as they don't allow many street lights. It's easily a green zone heading to blue. Decided to bring my Vixen A80Mwt. forgot what a dark site is like. I could see dust lanes in Andromeda, M33 had structure. M110 popped right out instead of being very hard to see. Pleiades showed some nebulosity. An 80mm scope was better there than a much larger scope from my house. Need to find a nice dark sky site, forgot what it was like.

#2 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:17 AM

I know what you mean I live in a white/red zone and if I can get to a green zone to observe (which is rare) it makes a BIG difference. Even an orange zone is an improvement.

Rich (RLTYS)

#3 Astrodj

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:55 PM

I had a similar experience last year. I live in a red/white zone and M101 is invisible to me in all my scopes from there.

While visiting a yellow zone area with an 80mm ST, it was easily visible as a hazy patch against a much darker background. I could detect it with 10x50 binoculars also.

Later that year I got out to a green zone on a great night and I was like a kid in a candy store with my XT10. What a difference indeed.

I still love going out at home, but those darker sky trips are awesome when everything comes together right.

#4 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:52 AM

DJ, you are so correct. :jump:

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#5 City Kid

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

My 4" in a black zone far outperforms my 10" in a yellow zone. Dark skies rule!

#6 ensign

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:10 PM

I had a similar experience a couple of summers ago. My travel scope is an Equinox 80 and it also makes a superb finder/wide field scope when paired with my C9.25.

It stands very well on its own in very dark skies. My wife and I were vacationing in a spot with great beaches during the day and blue zone skies at night. I had a lot of fun introducing fellow campers to the night sky with the little scope. Even though these folks were inexperienced at the eyepiece, they were able to see all kinds of objects.

A friend once said that the best investment you can make in astronomy is gasoline - to get you to dark skies.

#7 blb

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:02 PM

My 4" in a black zone far outperforms my 10" in a yellow zone. Dark skies rule!


That is so true, in fact my 4=inch TV102 refractor from a blue zone shows me about the same as my 10-inch Orion XT10i reflector in a yellow zone. It is amazing what a dark sky will enable you to see.

#8 Tony Flanders

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:49 AM

My 4" in a black zone far outperforms my 10" in a yellow zone. Dark skies rule!


Depends what you're looking at. I'm sure that's true as far as galaxies and most nebulae are concerned. On the other hand, I'm also sure that the 10" in the yellow zone resolves globular clusters far better than the 4" in the black zone, as well as showing much finer detail in small planetary nebulae and on the Moon and planets.

#9 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

The 10" should also be better at resolving binary stars.

Having said that, I've had some great experiences observing with my 80 and 101mm refractors, as well as other small refractors belonging to other observers, under dark skies.

Dave Mitsky






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